It’s not much more than a year since we received planning permission for the Pineapple Project and fundraising could begin in earnest. Even then last winter’s lockdowns created inevitable delays so that we were only really able to get going in the early months of 2021. Today we are thrilled to announce that the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has offered a significant grant of £99,300 towards the access improvements that the project will enable. This follows the very welcome and valued support of the Belgravia Forum and Westminster Council which have granted £200,000 Community Infrastructure Levy funds towards the Project. We feel fortunate and grateful.
All which good news means we have now reached a total of £1.46 million, only just shy of the original £1.5 million we were seeking. In reality, steep and continuing rises in building costs, alongside additions to the original plans to make the basement more ‘Covid-safe’, mean costs, and therefore our target, have increased. We are, however, now in a position to be able to put the project out to tender in January and remain committed to the original timetable for building work to begin in April.
So we end a year which has been difficult for so many – and has felt even more so in the last weeks – on a note of hope: that in the next 12-18 months St Marys will be better equipped to provide more lasting and ongoing support to those in our community who desperately need it, bringing us all closer together.